October 2, 2023
Adobe publicly launches AI tools Firefly, Generative Fill in Creative Cloud overhaul


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Adobe, the software giant behind Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and other popular creative tools, announced today it is charting a radical new course in creative software, integrating artificial intelligence across its Creative Cloud applications, a sign of the company’s faith in its liability protections for enterprises.

Central to the update is the official integration of Adobe Firefly, the company’s new AI engine, directly into Creative Cloud software. Firefly uses generative AI to allow users to create or modify images, graphics, and other media through simple text prompts. For example, a Photoshop user can now add or remove objects from an image by describing the changes in words.

The release marks the transition of Firefly and several other AI features such as Generative Fill from beta testing into general availability, indicating Adobe’s confidence in both the technology and its ability to protect enterprise customers from legal liability. Adobe previously told VentureBeat that Firefly is the only “commercially safe” generative AI tool available on the market.

In addition to new AI integrations, Adobe has also launched Firefly and Adobe Express Premium as standalone apps included with certain Creative Cloud plans. Express Premium provides easy social media and marketing content creation leveraging Firefly’s AI, while the Firefly web app serves as a sandbox for experimenting with AI-generated art, designs, and more.

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The company also announced a new credit-based model across all Creative Cloud subscription plans to enable broad access to and adoption of generative AI workflows. Starting today, Creative Cloud, Firefly and Express paid plans now include a monthly allocation of “fast” Generative Credits, which are like tokens that enable subscribers to turn a text-based prompt into image and vector content in Photoshop, Illustrator, Express and Firefly.

Adobe enters a new creative age with AI technology

The announcement marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which has been the dominant platform for digital art and media for decades. Photoshop, Illustrator and other creative tools have been used by millions of professionals and amateurs alike to create, edit and share images, graphics, videos and more. They have also been the source of countless memes, parodies, remixes and viral content that have shaped online communities and trends.

But as AI technology advances and becomes more accessible, Adobe faces new challenges and opportunities in the creative landscape. On one hand, AI poses a threat to the originality and authenticity of creative work and may create new forms of plagiarism, fraud and deception. On the other hand, AI offers a new way of enhancing creativity and expression that could transform the way people communicate and consume digital media.

Adobe seems to be aware of these challenges and opportunities and has taken steps to address them. The company has clearly stated in its terms of use that users are solely responsible for their use of generative AI content and must comply with applicable laws and regulations. Users must also respect the intellectual property rights of others and obtain any necessary permissions before using generative AI content for commercial purposes.

Defending copyrighted works, creators, and artists

The announcement of the new AI-powered Creative Cloud features and pricing update by Adobe coincides with the publication of a blog post by the company’s vice president of legal and government relations, Dana Rao, on the same day. 

In the blog post, Rao proposes that Congress establish a new Federal Anti-Impersonation Right (the “FAIR” Act) to protect artists from the potential economic harm caused by the intentional and commercial impersonation of their work or likeness through AI tools. 

Rao argues that such a law would provide a right of action to an artist against those that misuse AI tools to compete directly against them in the marketplace using their style or identity. He also says that Adobe has trained its generative AI model Firefly only on licensed, public domain, moderated or openly licensed content to minimize the risk of style impersonation.

The timing of the blog post suggests that Adobe is confident that its new generative AI features will not infringe the rights of artists or expose them to liability issues.

Adobe’s announcements today raise several important questions about the future of AI-assisted art. How will generative AI change the way we create and consume digital media? How will it affect our notions of originality, authenticity and authorship? How will it challenge our legal and ethical frameworks? And how will it impact our culture and society? These are the questions that we will have to grapple with as we enter a new era of creativity assisted by artificial intelligence.

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